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Three ways for 9-12 yr old writers to participate in one amazing experience.

Provo Conference

November 7, 2023

Provo City Library

Space Very Limited

Roy Conference

November 8, 2023

Roy Jr. High

On-Demand Option

November 14, 2023

Space Very Limited


Jennifer Nielsen

Keynote Speaker

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Christian McKay Heidicker

Christian McKay Heidicker is looking to adopt a new cat. His first cat, Lucifer Morningstar, scares the demons out of his apartment, but his second cat, Rorschach, keeps dragging them back in. Christian is the author of the Newbery Honor-winning Scary Stories for Young Foxes, its non-Newbery-winning companion The City, and the Thieves of Weirdwood trilogy, which is pretty good if you’re into that sort of thing. He would name the cat Video Games, Jr.

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Frank L. Cole

Frank L. Cole was born into a family of southern storytellers and wrote his first book at age eight. Highly superstitious and gullible to a fault, Frank will believe in any creepy story you tell him, especially ones involving ghosts and Big Foot. Currently, along with his wife and three children, he resides in the shadow of a majestic western mountain range, which is most likely haunted. Potion Masters The Seeking Serum is Frank’s 12th published book.


Lisa Moore Ramée

Lisa Moore Ramée was born and raised in Los Angeles, and she now lives in the Bay Area of California, with her husband, two kids, and two obnoxious cats. She is the author of A Good Kind of Trouble, Something to Say, and Mapmaker. You can visit her online at

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Utah Poet Laureate: Lisa Bickmore

Born in Dover, Delaware, Lisa Bickmore grew up living all over the United States and in Japan. She is the author of three books of poems: Haste (Signature Books, 1994), flicker, which won the 2014 Antivenom Prize from Elixir Press, and Ephemerist (Red Mountain Press, June 2017). In the summer of 2022, she was named Utah's Poet Laureate by Governor Spencer J. Cox. 

Lisa will be judging our poetry contest, and presenting the poetry awards to our winners!

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General Information


Tweens Ages 9-12



Tween Author Boot Camp is a half-day event held in November. This year's conference theme is Adventurers Wanted.

Tweens will enjoy interactive workshops, writing contests, and activities in a fun and educational atmosphere. They will be given a notebook folder, pen, backpack, a commemorative Teen Author Boot Camp dog tag necklace, and dinner.

At the end of the conference is a mass book signing with all of the attending authors!



Provo Library on November 7, 4:00 pm-8:00 pm

Roy Jr. High on November 8, 4:00 pm-8:00 pm

On-demand available November 15th


*Check in begins at 3:15-3:50pm. Child MUST be accompanied by an adult when checked in.

**Author book signing/parent pick up from 8-9 pm. Child MUST be picked up by an adult to leave the event.

In-Person Only


Includes dinner, backpack, notebook, pen, commemorative dog tag necklace.

On-Demand Only


Video access to classes AFTER the conference for 60 days.



In-person event with all the trimmings AND on-demand access.

General Info

1st Paragraph Contest

Interested in climbing to a new summit on your writing adventure? Enter the Tween Author Boot Camp First Paragraph Contest Today!

After submitting your writing, you will receive feedback from author mentors: Teen Author Boot Camp First Chapter Contest winners and other exceptional writers. The top entries in each genre and age group will also receive prizes at the conference. 

How to Enter:
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Register on Eventbrite for the conference, and don't forget to select the 'First Paragraph ticket' option.



Submit your novel’s first paragraph, graphic novel’s first page, or whole poem by October 23, 2023 using the link you’ll receive in your email:


Rules for submission:

  • Your work must be 3-5 sentences and less than 150 words.

  • Your work must be your own.

  • You must be between the ages of 8 and 12.

  • You must have the permission of a legal parent or guardian before submitting to the contest.

  • Only one entry per person.

  • You must register for Tween Author Boot Camp to enter, and be present live at the conference to claim your prizes (All feedback will be emailed to the parent email address provided upon registration)

  • Graphic novel entries must have dark enough line work to be legible and make sure the artwork is clear (pen or marker preferable).


A few helpful tips: 

Elements of a good first paragraph:

  • An interesting opening line.

  • A hook: Something that makes the reader want to keep reading.

  • Sense of Character: Who is the main character in this story? What makes them interesting?

  • Strong descriptive language.

  • Ground the reader in the story: What time and place are we reading (magical world in the past? Real world in the present? Outer space in the future? etc.)

  • Stakes: What does the main character stand to lose?

Graphic novel (First page):

  • Everything above.

  • Artwork that coincides with the words and helps tell the story.

  • Dialogue in the order of the characters speaking.

  • Easy to read.

Poetry (entire poem):

  • An interesting opening.

  • A hook: Something that makes the reader want to keep reading.

  • Meter: Using consistency and variability in meter in interesting ways.

  • Strong descriptive language.

  • Good word choices: Each word has a purpose in the line and in the poem.



We will be so sad to miss your writing if you miss this deadline!! 

You must be registered for the conference to enter the contest!
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School Groups
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Register with a school group and SAVE!

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